Monday, March 29, 2010

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The Emperor's Seeds

An emperor in the Persia was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!" One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. three weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by--still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful--in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try." When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!" All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!" When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor? Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it,and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"



If you plant honesty, You will reap trust If you plant goodness, You will reap friends If you plant humility, You will reap greatness If you plant perseverance, You will reap victory If you plant consideration, You will reap harmony If you plant hard work, You will reap success If you plant forgiveness, You will reap reconciliation If you plant openness, You will reap intimacy If you plant patience, You will reap improvements If you plant faith, You will reap miracles

But If you plant dishonesty, You will reap distrust. If you plant selfishness, You will reap loneliness If you plant pride, You will reap destruction If you plant envy, You will reap trouble If you plant laziness, You will reap stagnation. If you plant bitterness, You will reap isolation If you plant greed, You will reap loss If you plant gossip, You will reap enemies If you plant worries, You will reap wrinkles If you plant sin, You will reap guilt So be careful what you plant, it determines what you reap. The seeds you scatter can make your life better, or worse for you and the ones who come after you. Someday, you will either enjoy the fruits or regret the planting.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The trouble tree

The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farmhouse had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric saw quit and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier "Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning I pick them up again." "Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nowruz 1389 (2010), Persian New Year

The Iranian New Year, Nowruz, which coincides with the astronomical Vernal Equinox Day or the first day of spring, falls on March 21. While the term Nowruz first appeared in Persian records in the second century CE, there is evidence suggesting that the celebrations may be much older. Tradition takes Nowruz as far back as the time of King Jamshid when the life of Indo-Iranian settlers depended on farming and spring, when nature awakened once again and flowers bloomed. Legend has it that after defeating the demons (daevas), King Jamshid had them lift his throne into the sky. His subjects who were in awe of his might showered him with gifts and the auspicious day was named Nowruz and recognized as the first day of the year. In Zoroastrian cosmology, after Ahura Mazda created the Universe he assigned six holy immortals (Amesha Spenta) as protectors of the world: Khashtra (Sharivar), the protector of the sky; Asha-Vahishta (Ordibehesht) the protector of fire; Vahu Manah (Bahman) the protector of animals, Haurvatat (Khordad) the protector of water, Spenta Armaiti (Esphand) the protector of earth and Ameratat (Amurdad or Mordad) the protector of vegetation. Ahura Mazda himself became the protector of humans and the Holy Fire. The architect of this cosmology, Zoroaster, introduced many feasts, festivals and rituals to honor the seven creations, the holy immortals and Ahura Mazda. Nowruz, the most elaborate one, was to celebrate Ahura Mazda and the Holy Fire at the spring equinox. The Nowruz festival as celebrated today dates back to the Sassanid era. Sassanid celebrations began ten days prior to the New Year when it was believed that the guardian angels (Farvahars) and the spirits of the departed came down to visit humans on earth. To welcome these spirits from the netherworld, a major spring-cleaning along with feasts and celebrations were carried out. At night, bonfires were lit on rooftops to inform the spirits and angels that humans were ready to receive them. This festival was called Suri. Nowadays, although the festival has changed name to Chahar-Shanbeh Souri, it is still held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year and is the celebration of the triumph of light over the darkness. Iranians believed they could pass through this unlucky night, to the arrival of spring's longer days, with the help of fire and light, the symbols of good. On this night, bonfires are lit in public, and while leaping over the flames, any remaining paleness and evil (pain and sickness) is cleansed with the warmth and vibrancy of fire (strength and health). The tradition is also to show gratitude for the previous year's health and happiness. Children banging on pots and pans with spoons go trick or treating from door to door, a ritual known as Gashog-Zani (spoon beating). A mixture of seven dried nuts known as Ajil-e-Moshkel Gosha (problem-solving nuts) and fruits are distributed in hopes of making wishes come true. Gereh-goshai, is another tradition, in which individuals make a knot in the corner of a handkerchief or garment and ask the first passerby to untie it, symbolically unwinding twisted fate. Kuze Shekastan, is another ritual in which Iranians believed that by breaking the earthen jars used in the previous year, they could rid themselves of their prior misfortunes. Haji Firuz is the traditional herald of Nowruz; he dances through the streets to the sound of tambourines and trumpets and spreads the news of the coming New Year. Nowruz preparation begins early in March with khane tekani (house cleaning). This tradition stems from the Zoroastrian concern with cleanliness as a means to keep Evil away. As Nowruz is a feast of hope and renewal, Iranians greet the New Year freshly showered and garbed in new clothes. An important part of the New Year rituals is setting the Haft Seen, a table containing seven items starting with the letter 'S', which each represent one of the seven creations and their holy protectors. The seven items of the Haft Seen are: - Sabzeh or Freshly grown greens The color green was the national and religious color of Persians; therefore, wheat, barley or lentil sprouts were grown in a dish to symbolize rebirth and prosperity. Sabzeh also stands for Hoomet (good thoughts), Hookht (good words) and Hooveresht (good deeds). In royal palaces twenty days before the New Year, cereal grains (wheat, oat, rice, beans, lentils, millets, lima beans, peas, and sesame seeds) were grown on twelve (the number of holy months) clay pillars. The good growth of each grain was considered the sign of abundance in the coming year. - Samanoo Samanoo, a pudding made of germinating wheat or malt mixed with flour and brought to a consistency, is a representation of the excellence of Persian cuisine. It was believed that consuming the sprouts fertilized by Farvahars would bring strength and fertility in the years to come. Some maintain that Samanoo replaced Haoma, a scared herbal drink known for its healing properties. - Senjed or Jujube Jujube, the Lotus tree berry, represents love. It was said that when the lotus tree is in full bloom, its fruit and fragrance make people fall madly in love. The tree symbolizes shelter and security and senjed is placed on the New Year table to motivate nature's rebirth. - Seeb or Apple In Iranian folktales, medicine men often split an apple in halves, giving one to each spouse to prevent infertility. Apple also represents beauty and health. - Seer or Garlic Fresh garlic is used to ward off evil omens and represents medicine (as it lowers blood pressure) and peace. - Sumac Sumac is said to be the spice of life. Sumac berries bring to mind the color of sunrise and with the appearance of the sun, Good conquers Evil. - Serkeh or vinegar Vinegar is a symbol of fermentation, having originated as grapes and undergone many transformations. It symbolizes a tasty preservation and represents age and patience. Apart from the seven main Haft Seen items, other elements and symbols are sometimes placed on the table: - Bowl of fire: Wild rue and other sacred herbs are burnt in a bowl of fire to ward off evil spirits. - Holy Book: Each family places a Holy Book on the table; many also put the book of poems by the celebrated Iranian poet Hafez. - Water and Bread: Water and bread are also placed as traditional symbols and sustainers of life. - Milk: In Iran, fresh milk was considered sacred as food for the newly born. - Eggs: Painted eggs are a symbol of fertility corresponding to Sepanta Armaiti, or mother earth. The eggshell symbolizes the sky and the boundaries of the universe. - Mirror: Mystical Iranian literature extensively refers to mirrors as a representation of self-reflection. The word Ayneh (mirror) comes from Advenak, one of the aiding forces in the creation of man; therefore, Persians believed mirrors represent the images and reflections of creation. - Candlestick: Iranians believed Ahriman (the devil) could not enter wherever there was light; therefore, candles came to represent enlightenment and happiness and a flickering candle was placed for each child in the family around the bowl of fire or mirror. - Fish: The last solar month, Esfand, is in the Pisces period and on the eve of the New Year, it gives its place to Aries; hence, goldfish represent an image of the changing of the year. Fish are also one of the symbols of Anahita, the goddess of water and fertility. - Coins: Coins represent prosperity and wealth. They are also a symbol of Shahrivar, the Amshaspand which represents metals. - Sour Oranges: A sour orange placed in a bowl of water symbolizes the revolving Earth or the twelve months of the year. - Hyacinth: A pot of flowering hyacinth or narcissus heralds the rebirth of nature and the coming of spring with its strong fragrance. For the ancient Iranians, Nowruz was a celebration of life; for modern Iranians, Nowruz is a feast of renewal and change; a time to visit relatives, friends and pay respect to older family members. Family members dressed in their best, sit around the Haft Seen table listening to the head of the family recite the Nowruz prayers and eagerly await the announcement of the arrival of spring. Once the New Year is announced, people exchange presents called Eydi, sweets are passed around and wild rue is burned to keep the evil eye away. Families then eat Sabzi Polo Mahi a special rice dish cooked with fresh herbs and served with fish. The first few days following the New Year are spent visiting relatives and friends. The sixth day of Nowruz is of great importance to Zoroastrians whom celebrate this day as the birthday of Zoroaster. The thirteenth day of the New Year festival is called Sizdah Bedar when families attend picnics or parties to avoid the bad luck associated with the number thirteen On this day, Sabzeh, which has symbolically collected all the sickness and bad luck, is thrown into running water. Iranians believe an individual's conduct in Nowruz will affect their lives throughout the year; therefore, they abstain from fights and disagreements to ensure a good year.

This is attitude

This is attitude

IF AN EGG IS BROKEN BY AN OUTSIDE FORCE..A LIFEENDS.

IF AN EGG BREAKS FROM WITHIN...... .LIFE BEGINS.

GREAT THINGS ALWAYS BEGINFROM WITHIN.



This is attitude

IT'S BETTER TO LOSE YOUREGO TO THE ONE YOU LOVE.

THAN TO LOSE THE ONE YOULOVE ....... BECAUSE OF EGO.



This is attitude

WHYWE HAVE SO MANY TEMPLES, IF GOD IS EVERYWHERE ?

A WISE MAN SAID :

AIR IS EVERYWHERE,

BUT WE STILL NEED A FAN TO FEEL IT .



This is attitude

WHEN YOU TRUST SOMEONE TRUST HIM COMPLETELY WITHOUT

ANY DOUBT....... AT THE END YOU WOULD GET ONE OF THE TWO :

EITHER A LESSON FOR YOUR LIFE OR A VERY GOOD PERSON.



This is attitude

LIFEIS NOT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO ACT TRUE TO YOUR FACE ........

IT'S ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO REMAIN TRUE BEHIND YOUR BACK.



Thisis attitude

SOLDIER:SIR WE ARE SURROUNDED FROM ALL SIDES BY ENEMIES ,

MAJOR : EXCELLENT ! WE CAN ATTACK IN ANY DIRECTION



Thisis attitude

THE WORST IN LIFE IS "ATTACHMENT " IT HURTS

WHEN YOU LOSE IT. THE BEST THING IN LIFE IS " LONELINESS "

BECAUSE IT TEACHES YOU EVERYTHING AND, WHEN

YOU LOSE IT, YOU GET EVERYTHING.


Thisis attitude

“DO NOT PRAISE YOUR OWN FAITH EXCLUSIVELY, SO THAT YOU DISBELIEVE ALL THE REST. IF YOU DO THIS, YOU WILL MISS MUCH GOOD – NAY, YOU WILL MISS THE WHOLE TRUTH OFTH MATTER. GOD THE OMNISCIENT AND OMNIPRESENT CAN NOT BE CONFINED TO ANYONECREED, FOR HE SAYS, ’WHERESOEVER YOU TURN, THERE IS FACE OF GOD.’”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Two Fishermen.

One man was an experienced fisherman, and the other was not. Everytime the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back. The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing this man waste good fish. "Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?" he asked. The inexperienced fisherman replied "I only have a small frying pan."
Sometimes like the fisherman, we throw back the big plans, big dreams, big jobs, big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is too small. We laugh at that fisherman who did not figure out that all he needed was a BIGGER FRYING PAN yet how ready are we to increase the SIZE OF OUR FAITH. Whether it's a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way.

GIVE ME OH GODDEEP THOUGHTSHIGH DREAMSFEW WORDSMUCH SILENCETHE NARROW PATHTHE WIDE OUTLOOKTHE END IN PEACE. AMEN.

Lord , I obey willingly

“Truly, to God we belong, and truly to Him we shall return.”
Ghazali woke up early one morning as usual, said his prayers, and then inquired what day it was. His younger brother, replied,”Monday.” At that,Ghazali asked him to bring his white shroud, kissed it, stretched himself full length and said, “Lord, I obey willingly.” And he breathed his last.Underneath his head rest they found the following verse; composed by him, probably, during the night.
"Say to my friends, when they look upon me deadWeeping for me and mourning me in sorrowDo not believe that this corpse you see is myselfIn the name of God, I tell you, it is not I,I am a spirit, and this is naught but fleshIt was my abode and my garment for a time.I am a treasure, by a talisman kept hid,Fashioned of dust, which served me as a shrine,I am a pearl, which has left its shell deserted,I am a bird, and this body was my cageWhence I have now flown forth and it is left as a tokenPraise to God, who hath now set me freeAnd prepared for me my place in the highest of the heavens,Until today I was dead, though alive in your midst.Now I live in truth, with the grave-clothes discarded.Today I hold converse with the saints above,With no veil between, I see God face to face.I look upon Loh-i-Mahfuz* and therein I readWhatever was and is and all that is to be.Let my house fall in ruins, lay my cage in the ground,Cast away the talisman, it is a token no moreLay aside my cloak, it was but my outer garment.Place them all in the grave, let them be forgotten,I have passed on my way and you are left behindYour place of abode was no dwelling place for me.Think not that death is death, nay, it is life,A life that surpasses all we could dream of here,While in this world, here we are granted sleep,Death is but sleep, sleep that shall be prolongedBe not frightened when death draweth near,It is but the departure for this blessed homeThink of the mercy and love of your Lord,Give thanks for His Grace and come without fear.What I am now, even so shall you beFor I know that you are even as I amThe souls of all men come forth from GodThe bodies of all are compounded alikeGood and evil, alike it was oursI give you now a message of good cheerMay God’s peace and joy for evermore be yours.
"